Experiences with touch controls on ranges?

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for sure it's great for gaggenau kitchen sales as I doubt you can integrate the cooktop in a natural stone worktop....

it comes with a surface protecter...count me out. I hate screen protectors, surface protectors etc, if the thing cannot stand being used as designed redesign it...

A dot​



The dot is much more than just a dot. It is a beacon. A subtle light that intuitively links the knob to the cooking zone in operation. Not only is it a guide to where to place cookware, its variation in intensity, colour, and state lets the user know if the module is on, if there is residual heat, or if the surface protector is missing. When not in use, it automatically turns off, returning the surface to a space of preparation, serving, eating and a stage for socializing.
 
I suspect that a 12" Lodge cast iron pan would make short work of the surface finish. Even if the surface can actually handle the abuse, which I doubt, this design is still a bad idea. Risk of burns aside, it violates a fundamental design principle: good design provides affordances.

An affordance is something that tells me that there is a function that can be activated, and it instinctively clues me in as to how something wants to be used. It's a visual and/or tactile indicator. For example, the close widget on a window frame on a computer desktop is an affordance.

A door handle is an affordance. It tells me "this is a door, and it can be opened".

There are good and bad affordances. As an example, a round door knob is a bad affordance. That's because a door knob has several problems:
  • It does not intuitively indicate whether it needs to be turned left or right. This is especially a problem for door knobs that are mounted in the center of the door blade. (Yes, there are such doors, which itself is a bad design.)
  • A door knob can be pushed or pulled. But there is nothing to tell me on the knob what I should do, push or pull. I have to look elsewhere for a clue, such as the door frame. But that assumes that the door frame will provide the missing information. Lots of doors do not, especially full height glass doors. (How often have you tried to enter the lobby of some large building or otherwise open a large glass door and pushed, only to realise that you should have pulled? Or vice versa? Heck, quite often it is impossible to even tell on which side the bloody thing is hinged on, or whether it slides instead of rotating on a hinge…)
  • A door knob is an ergonomic disaster because it usually is impossible to operate with wet hands.
  • A door knob requires me to do two things at once to successfully operate the door: I need to both rotate the handle (in the correct direction) and apply force (in the correct direction). There are four possible ways to try and use the handle (turn left and push, turn right and push, turn left and pull, turn left an push). Of the four possibilities, only one leads to success. In other words, this design has a 75% built-in failure rate.
Other types of door handles are still poor affordances, but compensate for this by convention. The stainless steel D-handles that one typically finds on glass doors are an example. The handle can be mounted vertically or horizontally. Neither orientation suggests "pull me" more than it suggests "push me". But, by convention, vertical handles are installed on the pulling side of a door, and horizontal ones on the pushing side of a door. We experience this design as having no friction because we have internalised this rule (even if it was never explicitly stated).

It is instructive to see what happens when someone puts D-handles in the wrong orientation on a door. 95% percent of all people who try to use the door have troubles. And they often don't understand why that was, if you ask them afterwards.

A really good affordance for a door that needs to be pushed is a flat plate. It provides a clear indication as to where I need to apply an action without me having to guess where the hinge side is. And there is no ambiguity as to whether I should pull or push because the only thing I can do with a flat plate is to push it.

The Gaggenau design fails because it has no affordance at all. It's a cooktop that pretends to be a bench top, thereby misleading the user. Where do I put the pot (assuming I know that I can cook on this bench top)? Who knows, I can't tell, other than by turning one of the knobs and looking for the little dot. (How visible will this dot be if there is bright sunlight coming in through a window?) Assuming I have found the dot, how do I make sure that various pots and pans stay centred on the induction coil underneath? There is nothing to indicate where the perimeter of the heating zone is.

I suspect that there are other things wrong that I haven't thought of yet and would discover only in actual use. One issue with a frameless design such as this (and with inset Ceran cooktops) is that there is nothing to contain a minor spill. Older cooktops usually have a stainless steel frame that is slightly proud of the surface so, if something spills, the spill typically stays on the glass instead of dripping on the floor. Where will a spill go with the Gaggenau design?

None of these insights are new, they have been with us for decades. A seminal book on the topic is The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman. It talks about all sorts of interesting things, from the positioning of light switches on a switch plate to the shape and function of tap handles. It is essential reading for everyone who designs anything. Even though the book talks very little about computers, no computer programmer should be allowed to practice his/her craft without having thoroughly internalised the contents.

It appears that the designers at Gaggenau haven't read that book. Or if they did, were overruled by the marketing department.
 
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Very slick. And a stupid idea, design at its worst.

I look forward to reading about all the lawsuits by people who got burns.
Can't get burnt if you don't use it. Most likely this will end up in fancy expensive showpiece kitchens that rarely see any actual cooking.

The promotion all sounds like the usual architectural hot air - it reminds me of the pretentious chatter describing bland concrete square bunkers as 'humble minimalist architecture'. I have to say I don't mind the aesthethics, but it looks quite inpractical. I'm also not sure how the performance is; I don't know how thick the usual glass top is but 12 mm dekton sounds on the thick side.
I also wonder how it wears over time when you slide pans around.

I do like having the control knobs sticking out in the front though.
 
Can’t you just picture Ms Hilton posting a “cooking” video while using it? Or a Kardashian selling something with it in the background?
 
Can’t you just picture Ms Hilton posting a “cooking” video while using it? Or a Kardashian selling something with it in the background?
Actually when it comes to product placement it's a horrible product since it blends in so well. Unless you're spot the knobs and really pay attention most people would not even notice a cooktop was in frame.

I'm actually not all that concerned about safety; induction cooktops don't get all that hot, and apart from a little indicator somewhere you can't really see whether a regular one is hot anyway.
Ironically where this most likely incredibly expensive product would probably really shine the most is in super small kitchens so you could really use your stove as a proper part of your countertop if you wanted to.
 
It would be a nice alternative to countertop units, but I would take 4x Control Freaks over it any day. Maybe one 240v unit too.
 
I'm actually not all that concerned about safety; induction cooktops don't get all that hot, and apart from a little indicator somewhere you can't really see whether a regular one is hot anyway.
I can't find heat capacity figures for Dekton, but it is a high-density porcelain, so I expect its heat capacity will be similar to that of glass or high-density ceramic (likely a bit higher, seeing that it has zero porosity).

If I sear a steak in a cast iron skillet, the surface of the Dekton cooktop will have essentially the same temperature as the skillet. Definitely hot enough to cause a fairly serious burn. And because of the high density, it would take quite a while to cool down, just as a Ceran cooktop takes quite a while.
 
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I have used a Meile induction cooktop with touch controls. Stayed at the home while working there so I don't have the model #, but it sucked. Drops of water near the controls turned it off and it was difficult to restart it. The controls were hard to set at the correct spot. It also made a high-pitched sound when ramping up to get to temp. I was happy to go home to my gas set-up. I would love a control freak however:).
 
From what I've heard the high pitch thing is more an interaction effect with certain pans (usually cheap ones).
 
Slight change of topic.

So we have hot water plumbed to the kitchen sink from the nearby bathroom ceiling heater tank used for showering. It sits at 65C when on.

If you needed water for pasta, or tea, would you feel comfortable using the hot water from the house? Everyone I know draws cold and then boils. Life hack or ick factor?
 
Slight change of topic.

So we have hot water plumbed to the kitchen sink from the nearby bathroom ceiling heater tank used for showering. It sits at 65C when on.

If you needed water for pasta, or tea, would you feel comfortable using the hot water from the house? Everyone I know draws cold and then boils. Life hack or ick factor?
If the water isn't the drain water from the shower, it's fine with me.

Having hot water available for putting in pots is awesome!
 
Slight change of topic.

So we have hot water plumbed to the kitchen sink from the nearby bathroom ceiling heater tank used for showering. It sits at 65C when on.

If you needed water for pasta, or tea, would you feel comfortable using the hot water from the house? Everyone I know draws cold and then boils. Life hack or ick factor?
Quooker is the answer.
 
Quooker is the answer.
Yeah. If you have the budget for it, and use it enough to justify it, they are the most elegant solution.
They're not perfect; there's a power consumption cost, and I always found them a bit of a hazardous device... but they do work. One benefit that's rarely mentioned is that you'll no longer have a kettle permanently floating around on your countertop somewhere.
 

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